Suspect In Pritchard Murder Pleads Not Guilty


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j0399041David Fate, a suspect in the February 22, 2009 murder of Daniel Pritchard, a gas station attendant at the Claridge Sunoco service station in Verona, entered a plea of not guilty in the case today.

Raymond Perry, the second suspect in the case, was not present as expected in the courtroom of Essex County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Vazquez. Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Cheryl Cucinello termed his absence an “administrative decision”, but told reporters later that a possible severance in the case has been discussed so that the suspects could be tried separately. Perry will be in court on Thursday, February 18.

Fate’s next court date is a status hearing on March 16. Both Perry and Fate are suspects in a long string of armed robberies that culminated in Pritchard’s murder. Cucinello said she expects the case to last for six to eight months, noting that her department has been able to tie the defendants to all of the events. “We will prosecute both to the best of our ability. No one victim in this case was engaged in criminal activity.”

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Now back in Verona, she contributes to a variety of publications and Web sites, and consults on social media. In Verona, she serves on the Verona Environmental Commission and HBW SCA, and has been part of many other civic and religious groups in town. A graduate of Rutgers University’s Environmental Stewards program, she has also run an after-school program on the environment for elementary school children here. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. I can’t even put into words how angry this crime made me. It was so completely senseless. I pray that the evidince is clear and convincing and that the perpetrators receive a sentence as harsh as the ones they exacted on their victims, especially on Danny Pritchard.

  2. This is discusting what they did to thids man. I still waitin for my husband Ralphs trial he was murdered 3 years at the hand of an animal


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